AG Yost Reminds Ohioans of State’s Fireworks Laws

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s fireworks laws can be tricky but not so confusing as to require an explanation from an attorney.

Still, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has words of caution for those preparing to celebrate the upcoming Fourth of July holiday in the Buckeye State.

“In small towns and large cities alike, fireworks will light up Ohio nights throughout the week,” Yost said. “Just make sure your own backyard isn’t ground zero for those red, white and blue pyrotechnics.”

A resident over the age of 18 can purchase fireworks from a licensed dealer in Ohio, according to Ohio Revised Code, but they are prohibited from setting them off in Ohio unless he or she is a licensed exhibitor of fireworks.

In its 2018 annual report on fireworks, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimated that 5,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated during a one-month period between June 22 and July 22, 2018. That’s nearly two-thirds of the 9,100 fireworks-related injuries reported in 2018.

“As Ohio’s 237 hospitals join their local communities in celebrating the Fourth of July holiday this week, we encourage Ohioans and visitors to our state to follow all guidelines for the use of fireworks,” said Mike Abrams, Ohio Hospital Association president and CEO. “Several dozen of our fellow citizens last July were treated in our emergency rooms because of unsafe handling of fireworks. Our hospitals are here to serve our communities 24/7, but let’s enjoy the July 4 festivities without the ER visits this year.”

The CPSC report states, “the parts of the body most often injured were hands and fingers (an estimated 28%); legs (an estimated 24%); eyes (an estimated 19%); head, face, and ears (an estimated 15%); and arms (an estimated 4%).”